May 31 (Reuters) – An Obama administration official on
Thursday criticized a U.S. Senate panel for voting to block the
Pentagon from buying more costly alternative fuels, saying a
military biofuels program announced last year could help
revitalize rural America.
The Senate Armed Services Committee voted last week to
block the Pentagon from using 2013 funding to buy alternative
fuels that are more expensive than conventional fuels. Another
amendment, also approved as part of a $631.4 billion defense
bill, would prevent the Defense Department from building a
biofuels refining facility unless required by law.
(Reuters) – The cash-strapped U.S. Postal Service will offer buyouts this summer to nearly all of its 45,000 mail handlers, part of a plan to consolidate operations at 140 mail-processing facilities in the next year.
The mail agency, which lost $3.2 billion in the first three months of 2012, plans to begin this summer moving mail-processing activities away from smaller sites to reduce annual costs.
WASHINGTON, May 17 (Reuters) – The U.S. Postal Service will
proceed with a plan this summer to shut mail-processing
facilities as part of its cost-cutting effort but will spread
out the closings to maintain overnight delivery of local mail.
The agency said on Thursday it would consolidate processing
at 140 of its 461 sites by February 2013, moving processing from
small facilities to larger ones, and shrink the area where
customers can expect mail to be delivered the next day.
WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The Postal Service said its loss widened to $3.2 billion in the first three months of 2012 and repeated on Thursday its warning that it will likely default on payments to the federal government unless Congress passes legislation offering some relief.
The agency, which does not receive taxpayer funds and has been losing billions each year as Americans communicate online, said it lost $2.2 billion in the same period in 2011.
WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The U.S. Postal Service said on Wednesday that it is abandoning for now its plan to close thousands of post offices in rural locations and instead will shorten their hours of operation.
The change represents a victory for U.S. lawmakers and rural communities who created a backlash against the cash-strapped agency last summer when it began considering more than 3,600 post offices for closure this year.
WASHINGTON (Reuters) – A bipartisan group of lawmakers is trying to drum up support in the House of Representatives to vote on a Senate-passed bill that would make it tougher for the Postal Service to close some facilities, in part by targeting representatives who may lose postal facilities and jobs in their districts.
The group hopes representatives who are concerned about the planned closures of post offices or mail processing sites under the Postal Service’s own cost-cutting plan will join them in pressing House leadership to hold a vote on the Senate bill.
(Reuters) – The Senate advanced legislation on Wednesday that would allow the U.S. Postal Service to end Saturday mail after two years as part of efforts to overhaul the mail agency and prevent it from shuttering thousands of facilities next month.
The Postal Service has been losing billions of dollars each year due to the rise of online communications and high labor and other costs. Both houses of Congress have been working for months on legislation to restructure the agency and offer some relief.
April 18 (Reuters) – A U.S. congressional panel approved
about $33 billion in cuts over 10 years from food assistance
programs in a partisan vote t h at signaled Republican members’
preference to trim social programs instead of farm programs or
defense spending this year.
The cuts advanced by the House of Representatives
Agriculture Committee on Wednesday are expected to die in the
WASHINGTON, April 17 (Reuters) – The U.S. Senate voted on
Tuesday to begin debating legislation that would allow the
cash-strapped U.S. Postal Service to end Saturday mail delivery
after two years.
The bill from Republicans Susan Collins and Scott Brown,
Democrat Thomas Carper and Independent Joe Lieberman would also
allow the mail agency to use surplus funds in a federal
retirement account to offer retirement incentives and to explore
developing its own health care plan.
April 12 (Reuters) – The U.S. Postal Service has more
mail-processing facilities, staff and equipment than it needs as
mail volumes drop, a government watchdog said in a report
calling on Congress to pass legislation that helps the agency
address its dire financial situation.
“It is now abundantly clear that the postal business model
must be fixed given the dramatic and estimated decline in
volume, particularly for First-Class Mail,” the Government
Accountability Office said in the report published on Thursday.